Florida has a large number of senior citizens with no local family to look to for support. If you did not selected a Power of Attorney and a Health Care Surrogate while still competent, a judge could appoint a guardian to take care of you, your property, or both if you become incapacitated.
Because of past abuses of the system, the legislature and the courts have imposed restrictions on guardianships that tend to make them expensive and create a lack of privacy. When the guardian is appointed, the Durable Power of Attorney or Health Care Surrogate may not remain in force. At our office, we seek to avoid the guardianship process, but at times no other options exist. In general, though, the expense outweighs the benefits, and we help our clients look for less restrictive alternatives of which they may not be aware.